Oh man! This is my kind of game. I started playing for real yesterday, and I was scared beyond my wits. I had to stop playing when I got tired, because I just couldn't survive another shock. When tonight I encountered a certain remote location in the Forest World, a single bone-chilling howl sent me running back to the portal to The Room to save. I investigated the entire rest of the world before entering that horrible place. This game has a quality that is very rare and appreciated more by me than by most people. The world is small, but incredibly detailed and rewards my slow and investigative style of playing. The best example is the view outside the window. I've literally spent minutes at a time gazing out the window, learning every detail of the neighbourhood by heart. When the pink bunny balloon suddenly appeared in the sky, I was in a state of shock.
I've returned to this horror masterpiece, and the game just keeps impressing me... The plot is mysterious, I'm keeping notes in a Memento-like manner, the graphics is wonderfully detailed, even at locations you don't visit more than once. For instance, in the apartment world, It seems as though every single apartment have received special attention and a unique design: strange colours on the walls, unique lighting due to scattered furniture. The colour of the city sky subtly changes with time, and the way that the waking world and the other worlds interact is puzzling and wonderful. But first and foremost - the atmosphere is convincingly dark, paranoid, and, at times, pure horror that makes you want to pause the game and turn on all the lights. In total, I'm loving it!
I'm dying here ... This game is the scariest sh*t imaginable. I've had to turn the volume of my stereo down, to be able to play it; the only alternative is switching to watching Star Trek or something. The constant stress of the man in the trenchcoat that can't be killed ... the hauntings in room 302 - the shadow of a little boy standing in the closet next to the bed when I wake up, crying with a hundred voices. I mean, what is that? That's just pure evil on the game designers' part. I hate them. So much.
I just realized something: This game really shouldn't be played at night. It's just too much. It's all well and good, when I can look around and the sun is out, people walking around outside the window, my darker instincts kept at bay by rationality. But when its dark, I cannot bear it. So this tip is for you who are like me, and roleplay this game all the way through: play it during the evenings - never play it at night. Better for your health that way. Yesterday night I played the return to the water tower level, and I had to take desperate measures to keep playing; I turned the TV way down, and started some random episodes of The Simpsons on my laptop on the coffee table. Combined with my usual tactics of turning my head away from the TV each time I wake up in the game, expecting the worst. As Yngve prepared me for, Room 302, which in the beginning is your sanctuary from the horrors of the dreamworlds, gradually becomes the place you fear the most. The dreamworlds have their own reasonable gamelogic, each level has its own Victim, and I've seen every level once before. But in the Room 302, anything goes. I've seen ghostly funghi crawl slowly across my walls, blood running from my faucet, not the mention the worst of them (like the Wailling Wall of Terror). During the evening, my mind is prepared. Every time I open the bedroom door, I expect something standing in the hallway, screaming at me. I creep into the living room like a ninja, fearing to tread each step. So when I looked out the peephole and saw my own corpse staring back at me from outside, I was ready for it. I almost laughed, content that the game is not going to kill me before I finish it. During the evening, it's not so bad. But the time is 21:04, and the shadows are growing longer. I think it's time to switch to R-Type... Oh, and by the way, even though I fear Room 302 more than the other levels, something gnaws at my gut right now. Eileen looks stranger every time I look at her, with brown, pulsating blemishes all over her bruised body. And she talks errantly, telling her mother to wake up. Naturally, I fear the worst...
completed the game on Normal difficulty.
Rank: '21 Sacraments' ending - 5 big stars, 5 small, Score: 51 / 52 memo items found, Kills: 522, Deaths: 4 continues, 55 saves, Time: 14:11:05 (not exactly a speed run :)
Why am I back here? It's been 8 good years without the horrors of The Room. Mikkel S and Tuki wanted to play this with me, and I couldn't say no to replaying one of my favourite horror games. I brought my memory card and loaded my 'Brand New Fear' save game (new game plus). We got a chainsaw as a bonus, but it's pretty useless against anything but annoying Hummers (moth-bats). This game still impresses with its unique structure, detailed world, and impressive graphics.
Finally, we had time to get back into Silent Hill. With special guest Erik, we played through Water Prison World and its horribly mutated inhabitants, Building World with its fun monkeys and the wonderful experience of entering the buildings right outside your window, and finally reached Hospital World. Our apartment was haunted by floating heads and there's a thing on the wall.
On the hottest night of the year, we booted up the office PS2, which rejected my disc for about half an hour before finally giving in and booting the game. We resumed exploring the Hospital World, where we were suitably freaked out by the horrible hallway of horrors. When we got back to the apartment, it was haunted by a poltergeist and bloody shoes in the kitchen. We lit a candle and proceeded into the Subway world. Our session ended with a horrible awakening with a ghostly shadow in the bedroom closet. Brr...
Mikkel, Tuki, and I played some more Silent Hill tonight, and even though the different apartment hauntings are cool and scary (Re-animator cat in the fridge, blood faucet, and The Wailing Wall of Babies), the game is just starting to get annoying. Replaying the old levels with the combination of an unkillable armed antagonist and the whole game being one big escort mission is getting on our nerves. We reached the Water Prison level again and pinned a horrible ghost.
completed the game on Normal difficulty.
Even though the game was getting a bit tedious for a while, it started picking back up in Return to Building World. We had some genuinely horrifying moments involving an 'I AM WATCHING YOU' voice, ghosts climbing out of the walls, and horrible teleporting ghosts haunting our excursions into the Building World. The phone puzzle was pretty fun. After an exhausting but exciting marathon outside Room 302, Mikkel, Tuki, and I finished the game, with Erik watching and helping, and getting the good-but-not-great ending, 'Mother'.